Sunday, May 23, 2010

Health Counselor To Be

May 10, 2010 is a date that marks a big change in my life. I enrolled in The Institute of Integrative Nutrition with the dream of becoming a Certified Holistic Health Counselor.

My Pastor's new Sunday series was, “Knock, Knock” and the topic was, “The Door”. While the sermon was mostly of the spiritual aspect, I couldn’t help but think of the practical application in my life at that very moment. I realized I was quite literally standing on the threshold to my future.

When I was a kid, it was always my dream to be a stay-at-home mom and raise children like my mother did. God blessed me with the fulfillment of that dream and in two years that dream will be “complete” when my son graduates and goes to college.

I spent many years involved in ministry at church so that when my kids did move on, I wouldn’t be the woman sitting at home with nothing to do because I lived every moment for my children. Yet, somehow that has happened. I graduated high school, got married soon after then raised two amazing children. Now what?

I’ve been praying and asking God for direction and purpose for years now – four years, five years? I’ve lost count, but quite a few. I’ve prayed, I’ve whined, I even gave up dreaming for awhile.

I have a friend who is in her 60s and doing something she never would have dreamed of 10 years ago. I remember a woman who spoke at church years ago about how her life took a turn in her late 40s and she was doing something she never would have dreamed. So I thought maybe the same would happen to me, and I think it’s about to. Suddenly, my “purpose” became clear.

When I was in 8th grade, I took a foods class; my teacher was Miss Calderwood. I became very interested in food and learning about its nutritional value. Carrots have vitamin A and help with our eyesight. Citrus has vitamin C and helps fight colds. I learned things I never knew about food before.

That same year I had Career class with Mr. Skibbe and we took a vocational interest test. Surprise that my #1 result was Dietitian.

I never forgot about Foods Class or that vocational assessment.

Almost 20 years ago I found my FABULOUS Dr. DenBoer. His approach to health care is unlike most American doctors. Doc is very “whole-foods” focused, teaching that our health comes from proper nutrition, exercise, relationships and the “rhythm of life”. I’ve learned so much from him over the years and my interest in food and nutrition has only grown. I’ve become very passionate about it.

For the past year I’ve been meeting with the Health Coach on his staff, Tina, and have learned even more about myself as she has been a friend through some hard times and a coach, helping me to set realistic goals and keep a clear head. She keeps me accountable, making sure I’m eating properly, drinking enough water, getting enough exercise, and working on relationships. She’s given me recipes to try and challenged me to try new foods.

One of my favorite shows is “The Biggest Loser”. I watch it every week without fail and marvel at the accomplishment of those people. When the season starts the goal seems insurmountable, but each week they hit goals, they lose weight, they do things they’ve never done before, they get healthy and then go home looking like (and being) completely different people. They accomplish a major goal in their lives. I’m always so proud of what they have done - and so are they! They got off the couch and did something about their health.

Now it’s my turn to change my life. I’m getting off the couch. I’m taking steps to reach a goal. I’m going to do something I’ve never done. I’m walking through a door. Like Pastor said that Sunday, I’m leaving one thing behind to step into something new.

At 45-years-old I am going back to school! I am going to be a Certified Holistic Health Coach so I can do for others what Tina (and Doc) have done for me! Health coaching will combine my love for people with my passion for health through nutrition and it will allow me to use my motivational gifts of serving and mercy.

I’m scared. I’m nervous. I haven’t been to school in 27 years, but just like The Biggest Loser contestants, I will take one day at a time and when I “go home” I will look, and be, a completely different person. I will reach my goal and then my dream WILL be reality!